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Books by Quantum Muse contributors and friends.
A Felony of Birds

by Harris Tobias
The Greer Agency

by Harris Tobias
Assisted

by Harris Tobias
Hold The Anchovies

by Harris Tobias
Alien Fruit

by Harris Tobias
Peaceful Intent--Stories of human/Alien Interaction

by Harris Tobias
CHRONON--Time Travel

by Harris Tobias
The Stang

by Harris Tobias


Cold

by Harris Tobias


                    COLD


     Dr. Anthony switched off the big machine.  After all the crackling and hissing of the electronics the silence was noticible. Anxiously he waited for the time machine’s portal to warm. It never ceased to amaze him how cold it must be between present and future. After a few minutes the big steel door began to thaw and ice and water lay in puddles on the floor.  Soon the portal would be safe to open. Touching it too soon could cause the skin to freeze to the big metal wheel that opened the chamber.


    Putting on gloves, Dr. Anthony turned the big wheel and slowly opened the chamber door. Inside, as expected there was nothing but cold air. All the experimental objects were gone and in their place was a cold, dark emptiness. No one in the nascent field of chrono-physics was sure what this meant least of all Dr. Anthony often called the father of time travel.  If this was time travel, it was a one way trip. Stuff went into the future but nothing but cold air came back. It was a puzzle and there were some great minds working on it but at this moment, this present time, no one knew quite what was going on.     
    That objects could be projected into the future seemed pretty certain. How far into the future exactly wasn’t quite as clear and what happened to the experiments and the apparatus once it arrived was not understood at all.


    Ever since the invention of chronon amplification-- where the chronon, the actual time particle, could be concentrated and focused like a laser to some distant point in the future-- the world was buzzing with speculation about what we could learn from our highly advanced children. What calamaties we might avoid; what new gadgets we could have, new vehicles, new art.  It all seemed like a utopian dream except for nthe fact that it was a one way conversation--experiments and data up, ice and cold air back. Once there was talk of a Nobel Prize.  That was a laugh. He’d be lucky to avoid being the laughing stock of physics.


    For the moment, however, the press was kept away from the actual experiments and remained content with wild speculation. He couldn’t keep the world in the dark forever. he was at the end of his funding, he had to show results soon. There had to be a solution to the problem of what was happening to the projected items.  Maybe the materials in the chamber be going so far into the future that the Earth was a lifeless frozen ball? That would explain the cold but not the removal of the objects. And besides, his calculations which he and his team had gone over a thousand times predicted 175 years ahead at most. Whatever he put into the chamber from house plants to remote sensing equipment made a one way trip.


    After this latest empty return, Dr. Anthony’s frustration level had reached a peak. One more launch and that was going to be it. Reluctantly he loaded the last of his experimental equipment into the chamber. Out of a feeling of desperation and whimsy, he tapes a note to the chamber wall. The note says “What the hell’s going on?” and with that he slams the door shut and locks it. He fires up the projector and marvels at the ease and statelyness with which the chamber slips away on its voyage like a ship leaving a dock.


    Some hours later the chamber returns. It looks the same as all the times before  The big ice encrusted metal door, the long wait for things to defrost and finally, opening the door to the cold empty chamber, reveals this surprise. The message so hastily taped to the wall is still there.  And under his own hand is scrawled in tiny shaky script this message--”Send Blankets”.



2013-05-21 04:46:23
micheledutcher - This shows how it really is possible to tell a great story in a very few words. Love the set up and the ending. What will the future bring - we never know!


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Books by Quantum Muse contributors and friends.
A Felony of Birds

by Harris Tobias
The Greer Agency

by Harris Tobias
Assisted

by Harris Tobias
Hold The Anchovies

by Harris Tobias
Alien Fruit

by Harris Tobias
Peaceful Intent--Stories of human/Alien Interaction

by Harris Tobias
CHRONON--Time Travel

by Harris Tobias
The Stang

by Harris Tobias


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